The Spanish airline Iberia is denying that its pilot announced the arrival of a recent flight in Tel Aviv, Israel, as having landed in "Palestine," according to a statement issued by the airline.
Reports emerged Wednesday that an Iberia pilot announcing a flight’s arrival in Tel Aviv had landed in "Palestine," which is not a state.
These reports prompted the airline to launch an investigation into what may have taken place. Following that review, Iberia concluded Thursday afternoon that the word "Palestine" was never used and that those passengers claiming it had been were merely confused.
After speaking with "members of both cockpit and cabin crews and with other passengers on board" to clarify the situation, Iberia has determined "the word ‘Palestine’ was not used in the announcement," according to a statement posted on the airline’s website.
"The captain adhered to the standard format, in which only the airports of origin and destination are named, and not countries, regions, or territories," Iberia said.
The announcement was first made in Spanish and then in English. The airline claims the captain said, "Dear passengers, we’re now descending to land at our destination, Tel Aviv."
However, passengers may have been confused, according to Iberia.
"Both the airline and the crew regret the misunderstanding, which could have been caused by the similar sound of the Spanish word ‘destino,’ meaning ‘destination’, with ‘Palestina.’ No such confusion was caused by the message in English, passengers said."